You must define the audit scope, frequency and your audit method, in doing this you must place into consideration the importance of activities and areas within your company to be audited, obviously placing the most importance on the areas having the most effect on quality. This is not a new requirement of ISO 9001:2000.
When choosing your auditor you must select an individual other than one who performs the activity being audited. The Internal Quality Audits are often assigned to the financial manager. however the quality manager, as the management representative, will usually maintain responsibility for the development of, and implementation of the quality audit activity. Internal quality auditors will require training; in addition those performing audits can start their activity during development and implementation, to ensure that the quality system reflects reality and is being deployed effectively.
ISO 9001:2000 Requirements Summary
Internal Quality Audits are required to ensure that the quality system is working effectively and is in conformance with the ISO 9001:2000 standard. Internal Audits are a key component of your QMS, they provide a means for measuring, analyzing and improving your management system. Audits are also a very important input to the Management Review process. The accuracy, scope and reporting of the results of your internal audits are critical in enabling your management to identify the need for corrective actions and preventive action.
The ISO 9001:2000 standard has helped to clarify the auditing requirement. ISO 9001:94 was a little vague when it called for audits to "determine the effectiveness of Quality System". The new standard now is more prescriptive, pointing to the purpose of the audit as to "determine whether the quality management system a) conforms to the requirements of this (ISO 9001:2000) International Standard, and b) has been effectively implemented and maintained." The use of check lists is still a valuable tool for auditing.
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